Investigating the role of byproduct oxygen in UK-based future scenario models for green hydrogen electrolysis

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Water electrolysis for hydrogen production with renewable electricity is regularly studied as an option for decarbonised future energy scenarios. The inclusion of byproduct electrolytic oxygen capture and sale is of interest for parallel decarbonisation efforts elsewhere in the industry and could contribute to reducing green hydrogen costs. A deterministic hydrogen electrolysis system model is constructed to compare oxygen inclusion/exclusion scenarios. This uses wind and solar-PV electricity generation timeseries, a power-dependent electrolysis model to determine the energy efficiency of gas yield, and power allocation for gas post-processing energy within each hourly timestep. This maintains a fully renewable (and therefore low/zero carbon) electricity source for electrolysis and gas post-processing. The model is validated (excluding oxygen) against an existing low-cost GW-scale solar-hydrogen production scenario and an existing hydrogen production costs study with offshore wind generation at the multi-MW scale. For both comparisons, oxygen inclusion is then evaluated to demonstrate both the benefits and drawbacks of capture and utilisation, for different scenario conditions, and high parameter sensitivity can be seen regarding the price of renewable electricity. This work subsequently proposes that the option for the potential utilisation of byproduct oxygen should be included in future research to exemplify otherwise missed benefits
Original languageEnglish
Article number281
Number of pages38
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2024


  • green hydrogen electrolysis
  • scenario modelling
  • renewable energy
  • by-product oxygen

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